Nigerians living in Italy have cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari that they are losing their jobs over their inability to renew their international passports.
They, therefore, appealed to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyema, and the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, for the regular supply of international passport booklets to the Nigerian mission in Italy to enable citizens to renew their passports.
The National Union of Nigerians Associations in Italy, (NUNAI) made the appeal in an open letter signed by its President, Rowland Ndukuba, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
NUNAI, speaking on behalf of Nigerians in Italy also stated that a lot of Nigerians were disengaged from work by the host authority for failure to produce valid international passports.
The association explained that the International passport was the only document recognised by host countries that could be used to process any form of documentation and licences required to live in the country.
The letter reads, “NUNAI wishes to lay a very strong appeal to the Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs including the Controller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service to save thousands of Nigerians living in Italy.
“This appeal has become necessary as a lot of Nigerians are being stopped from their various jobs because they are unable to present a valid passport to renew their working contract and their residency to stay in Italy.
“The Embassy in Rome is doing everything possible to clear the backlog of seven months on ground as those that were scanned in middle of May to date are yet to get their passport printing.
“The Nigeria Embassy in Rome captured nothing less than 3,000 Nigerians in a month for passport and the mission receives passport booklets of 1500, 1000 and even 500 on an irregular monthly basis.
“But the situation would have been manageable if the supply was even regular on monthly basis,” NUNAI stated.
The Association, however, appreciated the Nigerian government, the Ministers, the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy for all their support.
NUNAI said, “Finally, this appeal will be incomplete if we fail to thank the two Ministers and the Controller-General of Nigeria Immigration for their assistance in the past by responding to our calls.
“We believe this one will not be different. We thank Amb. Omini Abam, Nigeria Ambassador to Italy, and the Super 3 team of the Nigeria immigration lead by Hajiya Larai Mohammed for working tirelessly to meet the demands of Nigerians on passports.
“But lack of booklets to produce those captured already is one reason we are making this appeal. On behalf of all Nigerians in Italy, the Union will be very grateful if our appeal is urgent granted.” (NAN)
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government has expressed readiness to help reduce the level of poverty under President Buhari’s administration by sending young Nigerians to China.